Sunday, July 18, 2010

i think i can. i think i can

I rarely feel my legs anymore. They’re sore, my joints hurt, and they get numb it’s so cold. 
There were Tibetan mastiffs barking up ahead so we positioned our party strategically so that we were prepared to fight off the dogs if needed. Needless to say- I dropped back from the frontline. False alarm. The dogs were staked down and the nomads invited us in for tea. Luckily, we agreed to go in because just minutes later it started hailing. It hailed and rained for quite a while. The woman turned out to be from the same village as Jimpa. The neighboring tent set up a plastic tape along the ground as a boundary in addition to ferocious dogs. Tibetan mastiffs are quite unfriendly. They’re trained to attack any and everyone that walks into their territory. So, last night we practiced how to fight dogs and sharpened the walking sticks. Joel says all he needs is a bottle of Baiju—right…

We are on top of the highest peak in the area. It’s beautiful and so powerful! There are little wildflowers wherever there’s not a pile of shit. I hope I never lose touch with this kind of expansion and beauty, peace. You can see for miles and miles and Himalayan mountains in all directions. Out here, my mind is so clear of petty, trivial things. The monks and nuns give off such great energy. At the same time, I know how easy it is to get wrapped up in shit at home and just go through the motions. And here, if I get frustrated, I can just walk a little faster and try a little harder and everything is ok.

We’ve set up camp in another beautiful site. It reminds me of the Sound of Music. The sisters picked wild mushrooms while we were hiking and cooked them up for dinner with homemade noodles. It was so delicious! It hailed again this evening, but luckily we had just finished setting up camp before it started. We all huddled together in the cooking tent, trying to stay dry and warm in the leaky tent/tipi. We all talked and laughed about Tibetan culture. Did you know that there’s no Tibetan word for “sorry?” The closest word is translated as “don’t be angry.” Somebody really should make a comedy out of this place. It’s funny but it’s real.

So the sisters and horse wrangler have a colorful flashing light hanging in the tent. We joked that they were having a disco party in there, but it’s to scare away the bandits or at least let them know that there are people here. If I were a robber and saw the light, I’d just want to join the party! It just looks ridiculous. We sleep with the mules and horses in between the white tent and our tents to keep an eye on them to make sure nobody steal them. Never a dull moment here! I’m in the process of thawing my feet out from frostbite with hot water bottles. Let’s hope I can sleep tonight with the cold. But, the stars are certainly beautiful despite freezing my face trying to look at them. The moon is so bright and the sky is completely lit up with stars.


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